Monday, December 30, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."The United States Of America" (1968)

"The United States Of America" - The United States Of America (1968)

This was The United States Of America's only album and it is a tasty slice of some West Coast psych.  There is a lot of fascinating Joe Byrd electronic trickery and experimental knob-twisting on display and though there is not one single guitar on the album, this self-titled offering has its rock hard moments.  I'm a guitar man at heart, but I swear, I never missed them.  The album also has plenty of floaty, mind-stealing moments as well, and yet never loses its pop-sense direction.  It's a headphone smile-generator.  The vocals from Dorothy Moskowitz are a killer fit for what TUSoA was doing.  What a surprise!  She's a lost gem herself.  TUSOA was a talented five-member band, but it's the way Joe Byrd fills in spaces and dots the i's that coat everything with Lysergic dust.  "TUSoA" can be found on many essential psych lists and was one of those albums I wanted to experience for myself before visiting Youtube.  I knew I'd find one eventually.  And I did.  A very clean original copy (minus the paper bag) from a fellow parishioner thinning out his herd.
Joe Byrd went on to record another highly regarded psych album..."The American Metaphysical Circus" the very next year with some West Coast session musicians ...calling the band Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies.  I've never seen this one out in the wild.  Yet!  Happy hunting.

"The United States Of America" (back)

Columbia 360 two-eye label

"Hard Coming Love" - The United States Of America / "The United States Of America" (1968)

A1  "The American Metaphysical Circus" 4:55
A2  "Hard Coming Love" 4:43
A3  "Cloud Song" 3:18
A4  "The Garden of Earthly Delights" 2:39
A5  "I Won't Leave My Wooden Wife for You, Sugar" 3:52
B1  "Where Is Yesterday" 3:07
B2  "Coming Down" 2:40
B3  "Love Song for the Dead Ché" 3:25
B4  "Stranded in Time" 1:50
B5  "The American Way of Love" 6:38
        i. "Metaphor for an Older Man"
        ii. "California Good-Time Music"
        iii. "Love Is All"

Joseph Byrd - electronic music, electric harpsichord, organ, calliope, piano, vocals
Dorothy Moskowitz - lead vocals
Gordon Marron - electric violin, ring modulator, vocals (B1, B4)
Rand Forbes - bass
Craig Woodson - electric drums, percussion
Ed Bogas - occasional organ, piano, calliope
Don Ellis - trumpet (A5)

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

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